Krejci upset people blame him for Crosby concussion

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Krejci upset people blame him for Crosby concussion

David Krejci loves watching Sidney Crosby play just as much as any other red-blooded hockey fan. The Bs center has an appreciation for Crosbys all-aroundexcellence so its been disappointing to Krejci that hes heard his name tied to the Pens centers latest concussion problems.

It kind of sucks that people want to blame me for Crosbys concussion," Krejci said. "It wasnt intentional. Anyone that watches the replay knows that it was just bad luck. If you watch the video you know I didnt do anything wrong.

Crosby hasnt played since last weeks loss to the Bruins with concussion symptoms, and the Pens' franchisetook a few big hits in a physical, emotional playoff-style battle with Boston. One of the biggest was a collision with Chris Kunitzwhen Crosby ran into his own player, and took some nasty looking knee-on-knee contact.But the Penguins center and theNHL's greatest activeambassador met with the media to give everybody an update on his condition two days ago, andCrosby made sure to finger Krejci as the player most likely responsible for his current concussion.

I dont know. I mean . . . I know I got hit in the head there. I felt like I was pretty good after that. It didnt feel like it was anything too major, but if you had to look at one hit that would be it, Crosby said when asked if the Krejci hit was the blow that knocked him back out of the lineup after only a handful of games.

If anything it was probably that Krejci hit. It was a good one.

Crosby said Krejci elbowed him in the head in the first period, and the video replay definitely shows the Bs center making some contact with Sid the Kid as he attempts to turn and reverse direction. But it was more contact of the incidental variety with Krejci quickly reversing direction, and having no working knowledge of exactly where Crosby was while tightly trailing him.Krejci said that the Pens center made him acutely aware of his actions immediately after the contacthappened, and it appeared Crosby didn't appreciate getting hit during a full-contact hockey game.

I remember after the play he went up to me and said, You elbowed me in the face. And I was like, What? I didnt even know. I asked him where I hit him. I saw it on a replay and you can tell I didnt even know he was behind me, said Krejci. I didnt even elbow him. It wasnt intentional at all.

After the hit, Crosby and Krejci yelled at the each other from their benches just as the period was expiring. Both Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic defended their center as the war of words escalated from the benches, and then the players retreated to their dressing rooms. Its actually much more understandable now why Crosby was so incensed after the period concluded, but it didn't stop the franchise center from finishing out the game.Krejci chalked plenty of that up to the heat of battle, and said hes actually one of Crosbys biggest fans outside of the Pittsburgh.

I hope hell be fine because I like watching him play, said Krejci. I want to see him on the ice playing and scoring goals because hes a fun guy to watch.

There wasnt anything approaching anger from Krejci about the accusations that he threw an elbow at the NHL's poster boy. Instead, he was sad that Crosbys career is again sidetracked. The B's center wanted to make sure it was clear that there was mal intent in the play, and it was simply an accident.

There was also concern from Krejci and many other hockey corners for that matter that such an innocent-looking play could have significantly affected Crosbys brain health and function.

There are way too many accidental plays causing concussions to some of the NHLs best players, and it appears that the CrosbyKrejci collision is just another one of those unfortunate events. But if those bright brushes with contact bring on concussions for Crosby, his future isn't looking all that bright in the brutal game of hockey.

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Haggerty: Reports of Seidenberg's demise were greatly exaggerated

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it appears the Bruins made a mistake buying out veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from the final couple of years of his contract. 

Seidenberg just finished up a wildly successful stint with host Team Germany at the IIHF World Championships, where he was named Directorate Best Defenseman (the tournament’s best defenseman) after leading all D-men with a goal and eight points. This came after Seidenberg, at age 35, posted 5 goals and 22 points in 73 games for the Islanders, with whom he signed after being cut loose by the B's, while averaging a shade under 20 minutes per game.  Seidenberg also had an excellent World Cup of Hockey tournament for Team Europe last summer (where he was teamed once again with Zdeno Chara), thus managing to play at a high level from September all the way through May.

A faction of Bruins fans thought he was on the serious decline after the 2015-16 season and, clearly, the Bruins agreed, opting to buy him out with two more years still left on a sizable contract extension. (They owe him $2.16 million next season and then will be charged $1.16 million on their salary cap over the next two seasons.) But the B's could have used a durable, defensive warrior like Seidenberg in the playoffs, when they lost three of their top four defensemen against the Ottawa Senators. A rejuvenated Seidenberg, able to play both the left and right side, would have been a better option than Colin Miller.

The Bruins made a conscious decision to hand things over to younger defensemen like Miller, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Joe Morrow in cutting ties with Seidenberg. But they also perhaps miscalculated how much Seidenberg still had left in the tank after his best season in at least three years. 

“Well, at the time we felt like [Seidenberg's] game had really dropped off to where we thought he couldn’t contribute, and we wanted to see if some younger players could come in and help us out,” Bruins president Cam Neely said at the end-of-the-season press conference earlier this month. “I’ve got to say he played well this year for Long Island. But at the time we thought it was the right move. You can’t envision us having three of our top four D’s get hurt [in the playoffs]. We went through a lot of D’s in the postseason. You can’t predict that.”

Neely is referring to the decision made after Seidenberg’s second straight minus season in Boston, when back injuries and a major knee injury had seemed to slow him down a bit. It seemed the only way to properly evaluate some of their other, younger defenseman was to cut Seidenberg loose, but one has to wonder if the Bruins would have possibly done it had they known he was still capable of playing like he did this season for the Islanders. 

Either way, the buyout of Seidenberg is an extremely legitimate second guess of Bruins management in a year where they did a lot of things right. 
 

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.